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Medicare Advisers Vote Against Paying for Lung Screening in High-Risk Patients — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
May 2, 2014

Medicare Advisers Vote Against Paying for Lung Screening in High-Risk Patients

By Amy Orciari Herman

A Medicare advisory panel voted on Wednesday against paying for annual lung CT screening in heavy smokers — despite the fact that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued a grade B recommendation in favor of screening high-risk groups in December 2013.

Advisory panel members said that "they had little confidence that the benefits of subjecting Medicare beneficiaries to regular scans outweighed the risks of the psychological trauma or unnecessary surgeries that could result from false positives," Modern Healthcare reports.

The panel's vote is nonbinding, with patient advocates hopeful that Medicare will disagree. A final coverage determination is expected in early 2015.

Modern Healthcare notes that under the Affordable Care Act, the USPSTF's endorsement means that private insurers must cover the screening themselves, with no out-of-pocket costs for their non-Medicare members.

Reader Comments (5)

CORALYN FLAD Physician

If cost of the screening is a concern it should be passed on to the tobacco companies.

Englender, MD Physician, Family Medicine/General Practice

Clearly discriminatory, demeaning to Medicare patients (too stressful) and setting up 2 tiered medical care, again, this time for the older population

mary webb barr

#1 Smokers aren't valuable to anyone-they did it to themselves.
(Oh and please don't offer real meaningful coverage for the addiction treatment).
#2 Lung cancer patients don't live very long so less MCare $ outlay.
#3 Why spend the money on recurring ANNUAL scans--too much outlay on the scans, increased cost for follow up dr visits, additional therapies are identified and deemed medically appropriate, mortality drops, uses too much MCare $ for our bang/health.

Mary Bennett,RN homemaker

Behold the "success" of obamacare. What else could we have expected from someone who thinks that it ought to be legal to deliberately crush the skulls of innocent babies? For whatever you think of "choice", there's no justice in it. See the end result of what Pope Saint John Paul II warned us was our culture of death.

Don't expect anything good from a plan that lacks a foundation of justice, is filled with empty promises-impossible-to-keep and has contradictory commands. These responsibilities are definitely above somebody's pay-grade.

D Donaldson

And it starts thank you Obama

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